The St. Lucie Mets' season ended Sunday, and apologies are in order for Tim Tebow.
It turns out he wasn't just a pilled-up circus monkey who undermined baseball's integrity as the Mets desperately tried to appease a vengeful God.
That's not a description I made up after guzzling a gallon of Tebow Hater-ade. It's a sampling of the scorn heaped on Tebow since he dared to show up with a glove and bat.
"Tebow the baseball player is not a baseball player," bellowed an ESPN Insider. "He's a washed-up quarterback who has size and nothing else."
"Look at him jumping around in the box like a pilled-up monkey!" Deadspin observed.
That monkey ended up batting .226 with eight home runs, 52 RBIs and 126 strikeouts in 126 games.
Frankly, those numbers were as anemic as the Gators' offense. Until you consider they were set by a 30-year-old who hadn't played baseball since his junior year in high school.
For a supposed imposter who'd stand out like a red-nosed clown, Tebow happily blended in like any old rookie.
I am by no means predicting he will ever make it past the low minors, much less be the Mets' starting left fielder next spring. But if predictions were stats, Tebow's critics would have batted .113 with enough strikeouts to warrant a Class A mea culpa.
And we don't even need to get into Tebow's numbers beyond the field. Like how St. Lucie's home attendance jumped an average of 700 fans a game when No. 15 showed up.
Turnstiles whirred and hearts fluttered wherever he went.
"Look, we signed him because he is a good guy, partly because of his celebrity, partly because this is an entertainment business," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said after Tebow was promoted from low Class-A Columbia to St. Lucie. "My attitude is 'why not?' "
Because, darn it, baseball is too sacred to even consider factors like making thousands of new fans and millions of extra dollars.
"(The Mets) have made a mockery of their own player development system and undermined the trust of every minor leaguer under contract," one analyst wrote.
You'd have thought by adding Tebow to its long list of minor leaguers, the career of the next Albert Pujols was destroyed and the poor guy will end up homeless.
"The Mets are shamelessly promoting a silly farce just to have their brand associated with that of a famous football player who's famous for being unspeakably terrible at football (and appears to derive perverse sense of satisfaction out of being humiliated by competent athletes)," Deadspin wrote.
Actually, the perverse sense of satisfaction belongs to Tebow's critics.
Skepticism was certainly called for when he unveiled his baseball experiment. It was natural to snicker and envision the whole thing turning into a "Saturday Night Live" skit with Tina Fey playing Tebow and chirping, "I can see the Majors from my house."
But as always, there was an extra layer of animosity identified as Tebow Derangement Syndrome. When Tebow succeeds, it reflects well on his wholesome approach to life.
It's an approach that some find worthy of only ridicule.
"In a desperate bid to please a vengeful God, the Mets might promote Tim Tebow," New York magazine reported.
It was sarcasm, but you can bet the elites on the Upper West Side were sipping their lattes' in agreement. They'll never understand that making the Majors is not how Tebow measures success.
With him, success means trying your best, touching lives and enjoying the journey.
On this one Tebow might have looked like a joke at times. The really funny thing is his critics ended up looking a lot worse.
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